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Taxi Charity helps veterans reunite at Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar

Updated: Jun 2


Image credit: Taxi Charity

The Taxi Charity for Military Veterans organised a trip to the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar for a group of veterans, including thirteen who served in WWII.


The day was marked by a significant surprise for 99-year-old veteran Dorothea Barron.

Colin Mills, Chairman of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, welcomed the group at the hangar on 28 May, which houses thirteen Spitfires. Among the gathered veterans, Dorothea, who trained troops in semaphore before D-Day, received an unexpected announcement. Charity Ambassador Johnny Gallagher revealed plans to fulfil her dream of flying in a Spitfire.


Dorothea, approaching her 100th birthday, had expressed this wish when Johnny inquired about her desired milestone gift. Unbeknownst to her, arrangements for the Spitfire flight had been made for that very day.


However, adverse weather conditions prevented the flight. Low clouds and strong winds kept the plane grounded, but Dorothea experienced the thrill of dressing in a flying suit and sitting in a Spitfire as it taxied down the runway. The flight will be rescheduled, mirroring the rescheduling of the Normandy invasion on D-Day.

During the event, veterans, chauffeured by volunteer London cab drivers, enjoyed a light lunch and a special poetry reading. Poet John Armstrong, commissioned by Johnny Gallagher, presented his new poem "Spitfire", adding a poignant touch to the day’s activities.

 

Colin Mills, Chairman of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, said: “Everyone had a wonderful day. The kind invitation from the Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar gave thirty veterans who had served in WWII and other conflicts including Korea and Afghanistan, the chance to meet just ahead of the 80th anniversary of D Day and have a good catch up.


“Social and commemoration events and are at the heart of everything the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans has done for the last 76 years and as a cabbie who has been volunteering for the charity for five years, I know how much our volunteer drivers really appreciate what an honour it is to spend time with these veterans.”

 

The Taxi Charity will be taking a group of veterans to Normandy for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

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